Bahrain sees ‘encouraging’ Eid tourism
Manama , September 5, 2011
This year's Eid holidays were very encouraging for Bahrain's tourism industry which was badly hit by the unrest, said a top official of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
However, despite having many visitors from across the border, it was one of the quietest in recent times, according to BCCI tourism committee head Nabeel Kanoo.
"We are extremely encouraged with the large numbers of people coming from neighbouring countries, but would have wanted much more to take place to attract larger numbers," he said.
"The malls were full and that was the most encouraging sign. However, there were no concerts or other outdoor and special activities. The hotels were also not that full as is the case during this time of the year.”
"But, considering the recent situation, the turnout was very impressive and this will surely go a long way in bringing confidence back to the industry in Bahrain,” he added.
Kanoo said things would hopefully look up even more with the recent announcement of the Formula One Grand Prix returning to Bahrain in April.
"Hopefully, the situation will be completely normal by then and we shall have a full house," he said.
Kanoo had earlier said Bahrain's tourism industry had lost more than half a billion dollars in the six weeks of political unrest.
He said the hotel and restaurant business as well as all related trades had been the hardest hit.
Kanoo called for a comprehensive tourism investment policy and proper planning in developing tourism infrastructure.
Hoteliers had earlier said occupancy was almost down to zero, some restaurants had closed down and 70 per cent of staff had been sent home on forced leave in the immediate aftermath of the developments in February and March.
As a result, they said, several other related professions had been affected such as taxi drivers, tourist guides and operators. – TradeArabia News Service